As an author, you know how important it is to maintain a blog, how critical it can be in helping you meet your publishing goals. Particularly for nonfiction authors, I for one consider an author blog to be absolutely essential.
Just to review, here are some of the reasons it’s essential:
- It allows you to explain and promote your ideas at length and over time.
- It encourages an active engagement with readers.
- It shows you over time how to find the readers interested in your topic.
- It makes it easy to start building an email list, essential if you hope to create sustainable business from your publishing.
- It promotes your own authority in your field.
- It provides you with a media platform from which to publish.
- It attracts people who will want to partner with you in various ways.
- It gives you a place to host products and services you offer to readers.
The list goes on and on, but I think you get the idea. There’s just no way to replace the ability of your blog to help you publish and promote your work.
Some Blogging Essentials
Many of you may be thinking about starting a blog, or refreshing a blog you used in the past but which has been abandoned for a time. Or maybe you’ve got a blog but you’re looking for ways to make it work better, attract more readers, do more of those good things for you.
Particularly for new bloggers, you’ll find guidance in my archives on:
- what you need to to have on your blog before you head out to let the world know about it (Top 10 Tasks to Get Your Blog Ready for Prime Time)
- a new way of looking at the all-important About Page (Why Your Blog’s About Page Is Completely Wrong), and
- ideas for how to start to fill your blog with content that engages readers (How to Create Foundation Posts for Your Blog)
In the last of these articles I mentioned that a great series of foundation posts might include:
Your trade biography—A great way to also build authority and trust with your audience to explain your history in the specific field about which you are blogging.
However, very few bloggers seem to take this advice, so I think it’s worth repeating.
Your Origin Story—Where Are You Coming From?
Readers naturally engage with bloggers when the blogger reveals something of herself in her writing. It just makes sense, as humans we’re wired to respond most of all to other people.
And if you’re hoping to establish authority or trust with your readers, the more they know about “where you are coming from,” the easier it will be.
I’m not referring to where you grew up and went to school, that kind of thing is of interest to a pretty narrow range of readers.
What I am talking about is the specific background behind what you’re writing about on your blog.
For instance, if your publications deal with gardening, and your blog offers gardening advice and tips, don’t you think your readers would be interested in:
- where you got the experience that you are sharing
- how you came to be in this field
- what’s behind your personal approach to your topic
- who influenced you on your journey
Yes, you bet they are interested.
And that’s why you should consider telling your “origin story” in a series of posts, especially if you are creating foundation posts for your blog.
My Publishing Journey
I came across this idea in the training course I took on blogging when I first got started. One of the exercises in the course was to create this narrative. Being a good student, I spent quite a bit of time creating a series of 7 articles tracing my own history in graphic arts, printing, publishing, and design.
I called it my Publishing Timeline.
While writing it, I mentioned some of the life changes that were happening as the story progressed, but almost everything in these articles relates to how I came to have the experience that’s behind what I publish here on my blog.
Rather than talk about the various dogs I’ve lived with, or which relationships flamed out and which survived, I kept the focus on my professional life almost exclusively.
That was almost four years ago, and this series of posts continues to help me almost every day.
- It has given readers the opportunity to learn more about me and my qualifications.
- It has provided a series of posts to link to when talking about specific events or changes in my industry.
- It has given background to the bloggers, writers, events planners, potential partners, and other people who want to know more about me.
- And it has established a foundation that goes back decades for the space I occupy within my niche.
To be honest, it was also great fun writing these posts.
If you’ve never considered this before, give it some thought. Creating an origin story can provide great foundation content for your blog and work to your advantage in many ways.
Think of it as a gift to your readers, the ones who are most attracted by your writing, and who really want to know more about the person “behind the keyboard.”
Make it part of the foundation of your blog, it will pay off more and more each year.
Do you have questions about posting your origin story? Let’s talk about it in the comments.